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Lost Episode Seven: "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham"

Lost Episode Seven: "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham"

After a series of crazy-twisty-"whoa!" episodes of Lost, this week's "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" is practically straightforward. The majority of the episode is spent with Locke traveling around trying to convince everyone to go back to the island, and when things don't go so well with that plan, Locke takes matters into his own hands. I remember feeling like the final two parts of the season finale last year ("There's No Place Like Home") were super great — but also raised a ton of questions, some of which were satisfyingly answered in this episode.

What did you think? Are you anxious to get back to the island and see what the heck's going on there? If you caught this week's episode and care to chat about it,


  • That guy from the airport (who said he was sorry Jack's friend died) is named Caesar and he knows the woman who kept Sayid in custody, Ilana. (Where the heck is Sayid, anyway?) But they're not quite so friendly that Caesar would tell Ilana he's taking a gun (after looking through a room which includes the April 19, 1954 issue of Life magazine with the main story "Color Pictures of the Hydrogen Test").
  • It's crazy that Locke ends up with these people while Hurley, Kate and Jack end up near each other. Also, the pilot (Frank Lapidus) ended up with "some woman" (Sun?) and took one of those boats on the beach.
  • We go back to when John moved the wheel and he finds himself in Tunisia. He's taken to a medical clinic of some sort and his injured leg is set (and aaaah that scene made me wince). It turns out that desert Tunisia place is "the exit," according to Charles Widmore, who appears at Locke's bedside, marveling, "I met you when I was 17. Now all these years later, here we are. You look exactly the same."
  • Widmore explains some stuff to Locke: He was the leader of the Others for more than three decades before he was exiled by Ben. Now Widmore wants to help Locke get himself and the others back to the island "because there's a war coming, John, and if you're not back on the island when that happens, the wrong side is going to win."
  • So, Widmore gives Locke the new name Jeremy Bentham, named after a British philosopher. ("Your parents had a sense of humor when they named you, why can't I?" Haha, oh Widmore. You card.) The real Jeremy Bentham was a proponent of utilitarianism (says Wiki), and I find this quote of his particularly interesting: "Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think." The chain of causes and effects are fastened to their throne. . ."
  • Widmore struggles to get Locke to trust him over Ben ("I haven't tried to kill you. Can you say the same for him?") and begins the first in a series of discussions over whether or not Locke is "special." He says the island needs Locke.
  • So Locke, back in the dreaded wheelchair again, starts to travel around with Matthew Abaddon, Widmore's trusty agent, to try and collect the other Losties. They go to Santo Domingo where Sayid claims he was manipulated into thinking that he was protecting everyone on the island, and he gently suggests that Locke wants to go back to the island because he has nowhere else to go.
  • Locke and Abaddon find Walt, who has dreamt about him. In his dream, he sees Locke in a suit, surrounded by people who want to hurt him. Locke really just wanted to make sure Walt was OK? That's nice. He lets him know, "Last I heard your dad was on a freighter near the island."
  • In Santa Rosa, Locke goes to visit Hurley who, in a moment of great comic relief, thinks Locke is dead. He freaks out when he spots Abaddon though ("That dude is far from OK!"). Then in L.A., a weary Kate says she thinks Locke is desperate to be on the island because he didn't love somebody. Locke says he did love someone but it didn't work out. "I was angry. I was obsessed." Kate doesn't skip a beat with her response: "And look how far you've come." Ouch!
  • This is when Abaddon reveals to Locke what he does, reminding him that he encouraged Locke to go on the walkabout which led to Locke getting onto the island in the first place. "I help people get to where they need to get to, John. That's what I do for Mr. Widmore."
  • Locke visits the grave of his former love, Helen Norwood, who Abaddon says died of a brain aneurysm. Abaddon reinforces the whole destiny thing: "No matter what you do your path leads back to the island." And then I jumped a mile at Abaddon getting shot! In a relatively calm episode, it's nice that there are some super crazy moments like this thrown in.
  • Locke speeds away, gets into a car accident and ends up in Jack's hospital — where Jack is having none of Locke's destiny mumbo-jumbo. With a touch of cruelty, Jack says, "Maybe you're just a lonely old man that crashed on an island" before getting up to leave. Locke stops him by saying he's seen Jack's dad, Christian (ha: "He didn't look dead to me!")
  • Man. After everyone telling Locke he's just a pathetic, lonely old man who never knew love, I started to feel a little depressed.
  • Locke writes his one-line note to Jack and goes about the business of committing suicide when Ben shows up just in the nick of time. He explains that "Charles Widmore is the reason I moved the island!" Ben says he wanted to keep Widmore away so Locke could lead, and again tries to convince Locke that he's important. Poor Locke feels like a failure, but Ben tries to convince him otherwise: "John, you can't die. You've got too much work to do. We've got to get you back to that island so that you can do it."
  • This scene seemed vaguely biblical to me with Locke standing on the table, about to die, and Ben kneeling below him (before he unties the rope). Locke starts to weep, which breaks my heart just a little bit.
  • Somehow I suspected that Ben would end up killing Locke in that scene, but the strangulation — brutal! I couldn't actually watch it all the way. Does that make me a wuss? Ben then makes it look like Locke did it himself and leaves saying, "I'll miss you, John. I really will."
  • Back on the island, Locke chats with Caesar before going to the room with all the people who got hurt — including Ben, sleeping like a baby. "He's the man who killed me."

Photo copyright 2008 ABC, Inc.

Join The Conversation
356UIK 356UIK 8 years
emalove emalove 8 years
I completely agree with that, Bastylefilegirl...I believe Daniel was born there and grew up there, as well.
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
Faradday had definately been on the island before, Charlotte mentioned seeing him when she was a girl, and we all suspect that Eloise Hawkings is his mom. So I'm betting he was born on the island and like Richard he may not really age?
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
According to the Entertainment Weekly article from Sept 08 Cesar and Illana do know each other well...I'm sure more will be explained to us about them in the future. Rumor is Illana is going to be a "piece of work"
indieglam indieglam 8 years
the one theory about lost that has made the most sense to me is the one explained here: obviously, it has some loopholes and such, but it seems like a very logical explanation for the entire show.
bingbingboom bingbingboom 8 years
I completely agree with "a million suns". In this show, no one is really good or evil, it's a matter of perspective and purpose. Looking at each survivor, they get to where they need to be by sacrificing or saving others. Also, Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn are AMAZING!!!
clareberrys clareberrys 8 years
Last weeks episode and yesterdays episodewere switched. As in yesterdays episode was originally going to air last week and last weeks episode was going to air yesterday. I guess the writers/producers thought it would be cool to do. And if you think about it it makes sense and I actually think it would have been better that way!
emalove emalove 8 years
Caraytid--so true! I didn't think of it that way. It IS as if Ben is taking Locke's place. And whose place is Locke taking? Jack's father/Christian? Shmoo15--didn't they say that Claire would not be making an appearance again until Season 6? I thought I'd read that somewhere. So I'm thinking the girl with the bag over her head is not Claire....
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
About Jacks beard - Couple things, one - he could be like my boyfriend who can literally grow a bear like that in 3 weeks. Also, we don't really know the time of him running around, so the suicide could've been a few days later, the the obit comes out at LEAST a few days after that. I mean gross as it sounds, they might not have found Locke's body in that hotel for a few days. Actually, what I'm more curious about it who put the obit in the paper. Or was it just a death notice? And for some reason I'm sort of thinking maybe the woman with the thing over her head could be Charlotte. We don't know WHEN that was so it could be before she died.
carak carak 8 years
what i'm confused about is the beard. because when Jack reads the obituary & goes to see Locke's body in the funeral home, he has a pretty serious beard, like a 2 month beard at least. but when Locke was in the hospital for the accident, he only had a week or less beard. did they just forget about this? because it didn't seem like Ben was going to store Locke's body for a while & then stage the suicide, he just did that & had told Lock that Jack had bought a ticket to Sydney & back. but when Jack sees Kate after he sees Lockes body, he tells her that he's taken quite a few flights hoping to get back to the island!
shmoo15 shmoo15 8 years
Mkkk. So scenes for the next episodes...who is the girl with the bag over her head? It' can't be Kate, because the woman is more blond/red head. Claire, maybe? or Libby?
johnsonkm20 johnsonkm20 8 years
I could barely even watch Locke try and hang himself; it was so sad how he felt like a failure, and Terry O'Quinn did a great job throughout the entire episode. As for Ben & Widmore, I don't think either of them is 100% evil, but essentially all they care about is their own interests and they'll both take extreme measures to help themselves. In each of their minds, they truly are the good guys.
caryatid caryatid 8 years
my lost link: I'm checking out the lost diary too, yay lost! I thought it was interesting that in the 'recreation' of the original plane flight Ben is the injured person on the plane, and in the original Locke fills that position. Seems like Ben is trying to take Locke's place? Surprise, surprise.
emalove emalove 8 years
Oh, and Lilly81782, thanks for that link!
emalove emalove 8 years
I couldn't watch the strangulation scene myself--I actually teared up and had to look away. Syako, I kind of agree with your husband's definitely makes sense! The whole "the island won't let you kill yourself thing". I feel like he planned on killing Locke that whole time too. Maybe the "office" was Farraday's office on the Island at one point? Maybe that's why it reminded us so much of his office at Oxford? I 100% think that Lapidus is with Sun :)
Tech Tech 8 years
After seeing this episode, I don't really understand the end of last season (or was it the previous season?) when we first saw Kate and Jack rescued and Kate meets Jack at night. When Jack shows her Locke's obit (then a mystery who it was), she's so angry that Jack would assume she cared about his death (she says something like "why would I care about him?!"). But now after seeing her meeting with Locke, I don't know why she was so pissed off with Jack that night over Locke.
tarabara1229 tarabara1229 8 years
nessa: at the *very* end, Locke was walking around in a room with all the injured (new) castaways, and discovered Ben sleeping on a cot.
tarabara1229 tarabara1229 8 years
reesiekitty and jelly: i think the "office" you guys are talking about is actually the Hydra station on the smaller island (you know, where Jack had the misfortune of watching Sawyer and Kate get it on). But what's interesting is that Cesar was going through what looked like Faraday's maybe Faraday has been there before?? I dunno. And yes lkandy, I was so shocked when Abbadon died. I loved that dude, even though he was super creepy.
nessa17 nessa17 8 years
Ben killing Locke, I did not see that coming, I was so surprised. What happened at the very end? I didn't catch that part.
Ikandy Ikandy 8 years
This episode was one of my all-time favorites...I mean...the build-up for how Locke ended up in that coffin was since season 3, and they did NOT disappoint. I was in tears for almost the entire episode, because Locke's life (and death) was so harsh...the way Ben killed Locke was f'd...I'm not sure if his plans changed after he heard the name "Eloise Hawking", or because he knew the island would not let anyone commit suicide (Jack and Michael), until its done with them. And the scene with Walt was my favorite because of the connection those 2 had on the island. Also, I cant believe Abaddon went out like that...
GirlC GirlC 8 years
What I want to know is how Sun could leave her daughter.
Jelly888 Jelly888 8 years
I think I was confused more after this episode. And does Ben ever tell the truth? Reesiekitty - I also immediately thought that the office was Farraday's in Oxford. I wonder if Kate, Jack and Hurley are in a different time then the plane crash people. And maybe Jin and the others (Sawyer, Juliet) got stuck in a time (the Dharma time) for a couple of years, hence Jin wearing the uniform, they are being part of Dharma now. And maybe that goes back to Farraday wearing the uniform in a past episode as well. So, maybe that was Farraday's office that Cesar was in, but from the past?? I also thought that is was Sun that went off with Lapidus, but then that wouldn't make sense as to why Jack, Kate and Hurley disappeared and Sun didn't. So maybe Lapidus got a flight attendant to go with him or something?? And I was wondering about the whole, the island won't let you die thing before your time, that happened to Michael may have come into play for Locke?? I still want to know what is going on with Claire, Rose and Bernard. I hope they address them soon!!
a-million-suns a-million-suns 8 years
Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn are such fantastic actors. I love watching both of them. I suspect that nobody is entirely good or evil. At least that's what I hope because I've come to except quite a bit from the Lost writers/creators in terms of complex storylines and such, and moral ambiguity seems like something they would incorporate effectively. But of course, I don't know, and it drives me crazy, which is exactly what they're trying to do to me. How rude.
I love this show. And i hate it. It drives me nuts-in a good way !
lilly81782 lilly81782 8 years
Ladies, as a fellow LOST obsessed gal, you need to go over to and get a few answers.
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